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Court adds more dates next year for 1MDB audit tampering trial

KUALA LUMPUR (July 19): More dates have been fixed next year for the proceedings of the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) audit report tampering trial involving former premier Datuk Seri Najib Razak and former 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) CEO Arul Kanda Kandasamy. 

During an online case management today, senior assistant registrar Nur Azizah Jaafar fixed additional trial dates for a total of eight days on March 7-10 and 28-31, 2022. 

This was confirmed by Arul Kanda's counsel Datuk N Sivananthan, when contacted by theedgemarkets.com

As for now, the proceedings — which was last heard in open court in February with the testimony by National Audit Department (NAD) director Datuk Nor Salwani Muhammad — will resume as previously scheduled on Aug 11 and 12 before High Court judge Justice Mohamed Zaini Mazlan.

However, Sivananthan added that the trial dates previously fixed on Oct 4 and 7, 2021 have been vacated. 

It is worth noting that Najib is still in the midst of challenging the appointment of former Federal Court judge Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram as the lead prosecutor in his 1MDB-related cases, including this case. 

The appeal for the judicial review is currently due to be heard by the Court of Appeal on Sept 23. 

In this trial, Najib is charged with abusing his power to amend the 1MDB audit report before it was submitted to the parliament's Public Accounts Committee, to protect himself from disciplinary, civil and criminal actions while Arul Kanda is charged with abetting the former premier.

If convicted, they face a maximum jail term of 20 years and a fine of at least five times the amount of gratification, or RM10,000, whichever is higher.

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